Tehran - A Chinesestate-owned investment firm has provided a $10 billion credit line for Iranianbanks, Iran's central bank president said on Saturday.
The contract was signedin Beijing between China's CITIC investment group and a delegation of Iranianbanks led by central bank president Valiollah Seif.
The Iran Daily said thefunds would finance water, energy and transport projects.
Iran is vital to China'strade ambitions as it develops its trillion-dollar "One Belt, OneRoad" strategy aimed at dramatically boosting its ties to Europe andAfrica.
In addition to thecredit line, the China Development Bank signed preliminary deals with Iranworth $15 billion for other infrastructure and production projects, Seifannounced.
The contracts reflect"a strong will for continuation of co-operation between the twocountries," Seif said.
The credit line will useeuros and yuan to help bypass US sanctions that have continued despite thenuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2015.
China was a signatory tothe deal that lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran's nuclearprogramme.
President Xi Jinpingvisited Iran a week after it came into effect, vowing to boost bilateral tradeto $600 billion within a decade.
Although trade was just$31 billion in 2016, it has jumped more than 30% in the first six months of2017.
China is already Iran'sbiggest oil customer and accounts for a third of its overall trade.
Since the lifting ofsanctions, Beijing has opened two credit lines worth $4.2 billion to buildhigh-speed railway lines linking Tehran with Mashhad and Isfahan, Iran Dailyreported.
The latest move followsan eight-billion-euro credit deal signed with South Korea's Exim bank lastmonth.
European banks remainwary of penalties from Washington for working with Iran, but talks are said tobe at an advanced stage for $22 billion in credit deals with banks fromAustria, Denmark and Germany.
China's new $10 billioncredit line will go to Iran's Refah Kargaran, San'at va Ma'dan, Parsian,Pasargad and Tose'e Saderat banks.
Source: News 24/AFP